90s Non-Format FM KERA

Spotify Link: KERA 90.1 FM DALLAS

The KERA 90.1 FM DALLAS playlists on Spotify and YouTube cover the last incarnation of this public radio station as a non-format music station, from 1987 to 1993. Many of the tracks KERA used to play aren’t on Spotify today, even though some of the artists themselves are. Compared to KNUS and KZEW, the KERA playlist is small with only 350 songs, 27 hours of listening. KERA is the most modern, and the most diverse of the radio station playlists.

In the late 1980’s the excellent music programming at Dallas public radio station KERA broke all fundraising records for public radio. KERA was true non-format radio, although it was nothing at all like KNUS in the 60s and 70s.

Much of KERA’s music was based on rock, jazz, blues or country. They also played music from many different countries, and many different languages, especially Spanish and Portuguese. 

A random list of artists includes Talking Heads, The Sundays, Bruce Cockburn, David Sylvian, Happy Rhodes, Sinead O’Connor, B-52’s, Bonnie Raitt, John Hyatt, Pat Metheny, Los Lobos, Joni Mitchell, Kate Bush, Willis Alan Ramsey,  Ruben Blades, Marisa Monte, Ted Hawkins, Eva Cassidy, Jerry Jeff Walker.

I didn’t like everything KERA played. They played a lot that I could have lived without. But the rest was great. If it was good music, they played it. I learned about a lot of great music from KERA.

Some of KERA’s programmers were David Meiner (I’m not sure of the spelling), Rick Vanderslice, Gabrielle West, Craig Shropshire, Mike Ritchey, John Ardoin, Liza Richardson, Jyl Hershman, Chris Douridas and Glenn Mitchell. KERA also carried The World Cafe, hosted at that time by David Dye.